Brutal Ceramics: Ceramics in its Pure Form


WordsClémence Leleu

©Brutal Ceramics

A black stoneware mug, a cobalt blue vase, a two-tone stone and earthenware plate… The range offered by Estelle at Brutal Ceramics is as eclectic and sharp as the creator of the online shop is passionate about craftsmanship.

A trained architect, Estelle made the decision a year ago to leave her job in a large agency and make the leap into selling ceramic tableware and decorative objects, and thus Brutal Ceramics was born.

“Brutal is an online shop selling ceramic objects which I’ve selected, all made by hand and with a sustainable production logic”, the young woman explains. “I release four collections a year to give myself the time to make the best choice when it comes to the artisans I’m going to work with, and the ceramics I’m going to sell on the website.”

During the creation stage for the pieces that will appear in the shop, Estelle sometimes gives the artisans free rein. “I give them the freedom to create their piece as they want it to be, depending on their personality. The aim is for Brutal to be a laboratory of sorts.”

©Brutal Ceramics

Japanese ceramics given top billing

For the first collection, launched in autumn 2018, Estelle offered pieces exclusively from French and Japanese artisans as she has a special relationship with Japan. “I went there for the first time when I was still at architecture school,” she recalls. “Then I went back to Japan for a holiday in 2015, before taking the leap and getting a working holiday visa in 2016, which meant that I could immerse myself in Japanese culture and learn more about its aesthetics and also the craftsmanship. In a way, Brutal is the continuation of that.”

The following collections saw the arrival of ceramics from Spain, England, Germany and Greece, but all with the same requirement from Estelle: to offer products that are different to those consumers are used to seeing on the shelves of tableware shops. “I chose a clear editorial line, with natural pieces and strong, unpolished or almost metallised enamel.”

©Brutal Ceramics

A pop-up shop in Paris

The shop’s offering is sophisticated, and this is made possible by the curation work that Estelle undertakes almost every day, scouring the internet, notably Pinterest and Instagram, for objects or artisans that could join her now very well developed network. Some ceramists even contact her directly to ask if their products can be sold in her online shop.

In autumn 2019, Brutal will celebrate its first birthday, which provides an excellent occasion for Estelle to launch her new collection which she describes as “the most developed since Brutal was launched”, but also to display and sell her pieces in a pop-up shop on Paris’s Rue de Paradis on 6th and 7th September. Put it in the diary.

©Brutal Ceramics

©Brutal Ceramics

©Louise Skadhauge